Zanu PF Youth Boss Mercs Torched
17 May 2023
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By- Zanu PF youth league political commissar Lawrence Mbanje’s two Mercedes Benz vehicles were torched at his home in Dulibadzimu, suspected to be a case of intra-party violence.
The incident occurred shortly after Mbanje posted videos attacking fellow ZANU PF members for allegedly planning unsanctioned re-runs of primary elections, which resulted in one faction losing.
The Beitbridge Municipality Fire Brigade and neighbours helped extinguish the fire.
This happens when Zimbabwe is gearing up for harmonised elections scheduled for August this year.
Zimbabwe has a history of intra-party and interparty political violence that dates back to the colonial era. During the struggle for independence, the ruling party, ZANU PF, and the opposition party, ZAPU, were involved in violent clashes. After independence in 1980, ZANU PF became the dominant political party, and the government used violence to suppress opposition parties and dissenting voices.
In the early 2000s, Zimbabwe experienced a wave of political violence, which was linked to land reform policies. The ruling party seized land from white farmers and redistributed it to black Zimbabweans. This led to clashes between supporters of the ruling party and white farmers.
In 2008, Zimbabwe held a presidential election, which was marred by violence. The opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), accused the ruling party of rigging the election and using violence to intimidate voters. The violence left hundreds of people dead and thousands displaced.
Since then, there have been sporadic outbreaks of political violence in Zimbabwe. In recent years, there have been reports of violence against protesters, activists, and journalists.
Ahead of the by-elections on March 26, 2022, the opposition party, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), alleged that ZANU PF was attacking its members across the country.
The government has been criticised for failing to hold perpetrators of political violence accountable. The lack of accountability has created a culture of impunity, which has allowed political violence to continue. The international community has called on the government of Zimbabwe to take action to end political violence and promote democracy and human rights.
Political analysts are afraid that the reports of violence might affect the credibility of this year’s elections.